The authors acknowledge and thank Julie A. Poorman, PhD, for her assistance with manuscript preparation.
Impairment-driven cancer rehabilitation: An essential component of quality care and survivorship
Article first published online: 15 JUL 2013
Copyright © 2013 American Cancer Society, Inc.
CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
Volume 63, Issue 5, pages 295–317, September/October 2013
How to Cite
Silver, J. K., Baima, J. and Mayer, R. S. (2013), Impairment-driven cancer rehabilitation: An essential component of quality care and survivorship. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 63: 295–317. doi: 10.3322/caac.21186
DISCLOSURES: Dr. Silver is the cofounder of Oncology Rehab Partners, LLC, which developed the STAR Program (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation).
- Issue published online: 6 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 15 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 18 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 29 JAN 2013
- cancer rehabilitation;
- physical therapy;
- occupational therapy;
- speech therapy;
- long-term effects;
- side effects
Adult cancer survivors suffer an extremely diverse and complex set of impairments, affecting virtually every organ system. Both physical and psychological impairments may contribute to a decreased health-related quality of life and should be identified throughout the care continuum. Recent evidence suggests that more cancer survivors have a reduced health-related quality of life as a result of physical impairments than due to psychological ones. Research has also demonstrated that the majority of cancer survivors will have significant impairments and that these often go undetected and/or untreated, and consequently may result in disability. Furthermore, physical disability is a leading cause of distress in this population. The scientific literature has shown that rehabilitation improves pain, function, and quality of life in cancer survivors. In fact, rehabilitation efforts can ameliorate physical (including cognitive) impairments at every stage along the course of treatment. This includes prehabilitation before cancer treatment commences and multimodal interdisciplinary rehabilitation during and after acute cancer treatment. Rehabilitation appears to be cost-effective and may reduce both direct and indirect health care costs, thereby reducing the enormous financial burden of cancer. Therefore, it is critical that survivors are screened for both psychological and physical impairments and then referred appropriately to trained rehabilitation health care professionals. This review suggests an impairment-driven cancer rehabilitation model that includes screening and treating impairments all along the care continuum in order to minimize disability and maximize quality of life. CA Cancer J Clin 2013;63:295-317. ©2013 American Cancer Society.